Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Brief Bio


Dr. Yaireska (Yari) Collado-Vega’s is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico. She received her PhD in Space Physics from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with honors in January 2013. She received both her BS and MS in theoretical physics from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in 2004 and 2007, respectively, and a second MS from The Catholic University of America on May 2010. She is the director of NASA's Moon to Mars (M2M) Space Weather Analysis Office and the former lead of the experimental Space Weather Forecasting Team at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC). The M2M Office supports NASA’s Space Radiation Analysis Group (SRAG) with human space exploration activities by providing novel capabilities to characterize the space radiation environment. The M2M Office also provides real-time analysis of the space environment and their probable impacts for NASA missions. Collado-Vega's research focuses on the solar wind interaction with the Earth's magnetic environment, solar energetic particle events, and space weather real time analysis. She also works on the validation of solar and magnetospheric models and the current developments on machine learning capabilities to improve space weather analysis and forecasting. She also conducts education and public outreach for NASA and the Heliophysics Science Division including social media events and live tv/radio interviews to increase the awareness on Heliophysics Science and space weather. She has presented at many international and national scientific conferences. She has been part of the NASA family for 18 years.

Education


• B.S. Theoretical Physics, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR, 1999-2003
• M.S. Theoretical Physics, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR, 2004-2007
• M.S. Physics, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, 2007-2010
• Ph.D. Space Physics, (Honors) The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, 2007-Jan 2013

Positions/Employment


Director of the Moon to Mars (M2M) Space Weather Analysis Office

NASA - GSFC

July 2020 - Present

The Moon to Mars Space Weather Office (M2M) is established to support NASA’s Space Radiation Analysis Group (SRAG) with human space exploration activities by providing expert based analysis of the space radiation environment. M2M analyzes real-time space weather conditions with state-of-the-art models and tools to deliver space weather assessments to SRAG console operators. These assessments are used to evaluate the likelihood, intensity, and duration of space radiation events that could impact human exploration missions to the Moon, and subsequently, to Mars. M2M will also continue to support NASA robotic missions with space weather notifications and anomaly analysis support as a secondary function.


Research Astrophysicist

NASA GSFC - Heliophysics Science Division

September 2019 - June 2020

Part of the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) team, senior space weather forecaster and the lead for the Space Weather Forecasting team. She conducts space weather analysis for the support of NASA's robotic missions. She is also involved in the validation of space weather models specified on the Earth's magnetosphere and how magnetic storms develop from the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction. She also leads the prototyping effort of new space weather models and software tools. She also conducts education and public outreach for the CCMC and the Heliophysics Science Division including live tv/radio interviews and social media events. She is the space weather lead and CCMC representative on the NASA Space Science Education Consortium for NASA GSFC. Her research experience focuses on solar wind-magnetosphere interaction instabilities and transient events. It includes data analysis of multi-spacecraft observations from different missions including Cluster, THEMIS, Van Allen Probes and currently the MMS mission, and analysis of Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. Also interested in dayside-magnetopause magnetic reconnection, magnetopause standoff position changes and soft X-ray imaging of the magnetosphere. She has been a Co-Investigator in several funded Science Innovation Fund proposals on a data mining tool development for vortices on the Earth's magnetopause and in correlation analysis of Auroras with the Day and Night band signal and space weather models.


Physical Scientist

NASA GSFC - Greenbelt, MD

May 2013 - September 2019

Collado-Vega was a space weather senior forecaster, the space weather forecasting acting team lead for the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) and an E/PO specialist. 


Graduate Student Trainee

NASA GSFC - Greenbelt, MD

August 2004 - May 2013

 Collado-Vega was part of the Graduate Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) at GSFC doing research on magnetospheric Physics, specially Kelvin-Helmholtz instability and Flux Transfer Events.

Teaching Experience


• August 2012 to May 2013 – Physics Adjunct Professor at Stevenson University, School of the Sciences.
• August 2004 to May 2013-Graduate Student Trainee at NASA GSFC, Geospace Physics Laboratory, code 673.
•August 2007 to May 2009- Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Catholic University of America-Physics Department
• January 2004 to May 2007- Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR.-Physics Department

Professional Societies


New and Developing Professionals (NDP) Advisory Committee at GSFC

600 Rep (2011-2013); Co-Chair (2013-2015); 600 Rep (2015-present)

2011 - Present


Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Science and Exploration Directorate at GSFC

2012 - Present


American Geophysical Union

2004 - Present


Latin American Association for Space Geophysics (ALAGE)

2010 - Present


National Society of Hispanics Physicists

2012 - Present


Sigma Pi Sigma

2007 - Present


Society of Physics Students

1999 - Present


Women in Aerospace

Member

2022 - Present

Awards


• NASA Robert H. Goddard Award, Individual Mission and Enabling Support, NASA GSFC, June 2021.

• NASA Agency Honor Award, Group Achievement Award, The Community Coordinated Modeling Center, June 2018. 

• NASA Robert H. Goddard Award (Individual Outreach), 2018

• NASA Agency Silver Achievement Team Medal (2017 Total Solar Eclipse), 2018

• NASA Robert H. Goddard Award (Individual Customer Service), 2016

• Heliophysics Science Division Peer Award, 2016

• NASA Robert H. Goddard Award (Exceptional Achievement for Science Team), 2016

• NASA Group Achievement Award, 2016

• Special Act Award by the AETD Directorate, 2016

• NASA Robert H. Goddard Award (Customer Service Team) , 2015

• Heliophysics Science Division Peer Award at GSFC, 2012

• NASA GSFC NDP Advisory Committee Spearhead of the Year Award, 2012.

• Special Act Award by the Heliophysics Science Division at GSFC, 2012

• Special Act Award by the Heliophysics Science Division at GSFC, 2010

• NASA Group Achievement Award in Education, 2010

• Performance Award by the Heliophysics Science Division at GSFC, 2007

• Best UPRM’s Co-op Student Award Nomination, 2006

• Hispanic College Fund-National Hispanic Explorers Scholarship 2003

• Student Prominent Award from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, 2003

• Student Honor Recognition Awards at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez 2001-2003

 

Grants


Synergy between DNB observations and Sun-Magnetosphere-Ionosphere coupling during geomagnetic storms
 

NASA GSFC Science Innovation Fund - NASA GSFC - Awarded: 2016-09-28


Dates:  - 


Heliophysics Education Consortium; Through the Eyes of NASA to the Heart and Minds of the Nation

Heliophysics Education Consortium - NASA - Awarded: 2015-09-25


Dates:  - 


Detection and Characterization of Vortices in Earth's Magnetosphere

NASA GSFC Science Innovation Fund - NASA GSFC - Awarded: 2015-09-28


Dates:  - 


Data-mining for Vortices in Earth’s Magnetosphere
 

NASA GSFC Mini-Science Innovation Fund selection - NASA GSFC - Awarded: 2015-04-30


Dates:  - 

Publications


Refereed

Kalb, V., B. Kosar, Y. Collado‐Vega, and C. C. Davidson. 2023. Aurora Detection From Nighttime Lights for Earth and Space Science Applications Earth and Space Science 10 (1): [10.1029/2022ea002513]

Chen, L., J. Halekas, S. Wang, et al. G. A. DiBraccio, N. Romanelli, J. Ng, C. T. Russell, S. J. Schwartz, D. G. Sibeck, W. Farrell, C. Pollock, D. Gershman, B. Giles, and Y. M. Collado-Vega. 2022. Solitary Magnetic Structures Developed From Gyro‐Resonance With Solar Wind Ions at Mars and Earth Geophysical Research Letters 49 (3): [10.1029/2021gl097600]

Kay, C., M. L. Mays, and Y. M. Collado-Vega. 2022. OSPREI: A Coupled Approach to Modeling CME‐Driven Space Weather With Automatically Generated, User‐Friendly Outputs Space Weather 20 (4): [10.1029/2021sw002914]

Connor, H. K., D. G. Sibeck, M. R. Collier, et al. I. I. Baliukin, G. Branduardi‐Raymont, P. C. Brandt, N. Y. Buzulukova, Y. M. Collado-Vega, C. P. Escoubet, M. Fok, S. Hsieh, J. Jung, S. Kameda, K. D. Kuntz, F. S. Porter, S. Sembay, T. Sun, B. M. Walsh, and J. H. Zoennchen. 2021. Soft X‐ray and ENA Imaging of the Earth's Dayside Magnetosphere Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 126 (3): [10.1029/2020ja028816]

Collado-Vega, Y. M., V. L. Kalb, D. G. Sibeck, K.-J. Hwang, and L. Rastätter. 2018. Data mining for vortices on the Earth's magnetosphere – algorithm application for detection and analysis Annales Geophysicae 36 (4): 1117-1129 [10.5194/angeo-36-1117-2018]

Sibeck, D. G., R. Allen, H. Aryan, et al. D. Bodewits, P. Brandt, G. Branduardi-Raymont, G. Brown, J. A. Carter, Y. M. Collado-Vega, M. R. Collier, H. K. Connor, T. E. Cravens, Y. Ezoe, M.-C. Fok, M. Galeazzi, O. Gutynska, M. Holmström, S.-Y. Hsieh, K. Ishikawa, D. Koutroumpa, K. D. Kuntz, M. Leutenegger, Y. Miyoshi, F. S. Porter, M. E. Purucker, A. M. Read, J. Raeder, I. P. Robertson, A. A. Samsonov, S. Sembay, S. L. Snowden, N. E. Thomas, R. von Steiger, B. M. Walsh, and S. Wing. 2018. Imaging Plasma Density Structures in the Soft X-Rays Generated by Solar Wind Charge Exchange with Neutrals Space Science Reviews 214 (4): 79 [10.1007/s11214-018-0504-7]

Walsh, B. M., M. R. Collier, K. D. Kuntz, et al. F. S. Porter, D. G. Sibeck, S. L. Snowden, J. A. Carter, Y. M. Collado-Vega, H. K. Connor, T. E. Cravens, A. M. Read, S. Sembay, and N. E. Thomas. 2016. Wide field-of-view soft X-ray imaging for solar wind-magnetosphere interactions Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 121 (4): 3353-3361 [10.1002/2016ja022348]

Kuntz, K. D., Y. M. Collado-Vega, M. R. Collier, et al. H. K. Connor, T. E. Cravens, D. Koutroumpa, F. S. Porter, I. P. Robertson, D. G. Sibeck, S. L. Snowden, N. E. Thomas, and B. M. Walsh. 2015. THE SOLAR WIND CHARGE-EXCHANGE PRODUCTION FACTOR FOR HYDROGEN The Astrophysical Journal 808 (2): 143 [10.1088/0004-637x/808/2/143]

Collado-Vega, Y. M., R. L. Kessel, D. G. Sibeck, et al. V. L. Kalb, R. A. Boller, and L. Rastaetter. 2013. Comparison between vortices created and evolving during fixed and dynamic solar wind conditions ANNALES GEOPHYSICAE 31 1463-1483 [10.5194/angeo-31-1463-2013]

Thomas, N. E., J. A. Carter, M. P. Chiao, et al. D. J. Chornay, Y. M. Collado-Vega, M. R. Collier, T. E. Cravens, M. Galeazzi, D. Koutroumpa, J. Kujawski, K. D. Kuntz, M. M. Kuznetsova, S. T. Lepri, D. McCammon, K. Morgan, F. S. Porter, K. Prasai, A. M. Read, I. P. Robertson, S. F. Sembay, D. C. Sibeck, S. L. Snowden, Y. Uprety, and B. M. Walsh. 2013. The DXL and STORM Sounding Rocket Mission UV; X-RAY; AND GAMMA-RAY SPACE INSTRUMENTATION FOR ASTRONOMY XVIII 8859 [10.1117/12.2024438]

Collado vega, Y. M., R. L. Kessel, D. G. Sibeck, et al. V. L. Kalb, R. A. Boller, and L. Rastaetter. 2013. Comparison between vortices created and evolving during fixed and dynamic solar wind conditions Ann. Geophys. 31 (8): 1463-1483 [10.5194/angeo-31-1463-2013]

Collado vega, Y. M., R. L. Kessel, X. Shao, and R. A. Boller. 2007. MHD flow visualization of magnetopause boundary region vortices observed during high-speed streams JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS 112 (A6): [10.1029/2006JA012104]

Talks, Presentations and Posters


Invited

The Moon to Mars Space Weather Analysis Office; A Capability Needed in Support of Human Space Exploration Beyond LEO Orbit

2022

2022 AMS Annual Meeting, 2022 SWW, 2022 JpGU


Space Weather Research Analysis – Forecasting for NASA’s Robotic Missions

August 3, 2019

Invited Talk, Towards Future Research on Space Weather Drivers, San Juan, Argentina


Invited Keynote Speaker for the JHU/APL Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Colloquium Series, 2018

November 5, 2018


Forecasting and educational capabilities at the NASA Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC)

October 18, 2018

Invited Talk, Space Weather Science Towards Improved Forecasting COSPAR Capacity Building Workshop, Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil


Space Weather Forecasting Capabilities at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC)
 
 

May 20, 2018

Invited talk at the Latin American Conference of Space Geophysicists (COLAGE XI) in Buenos Aires, Argentina 


Magnetopause standoff position and response time changes due to solar wind conditions: Models and Observations 

2015

Mini GEM oral presentation 


Calculating the motion and direction of Flux Transfer Events with Cluster

November 2012

3rd Cluster-Themis Workshop, Boulder, CO


 Calculating the motion and direction of Flux Transfer Events with Cluster

2011

 AGU Fall Meeting, Oral Presentation


Other

Space Weather Research and Forecasting Capabilities at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC)

March 28, 2018

Talk at the Deep Space Gateway Workshop 


Magnetopause standoff position and Geosynchronous Orbit Crossings: Models and Observations

11, 2017

Oral presentation in a special panel session at the AGU Fall Meeting


The New Space Weather Action Center; the Next Level on Space Weather Education
 

2016

AGU Fall Meeting, Poster


Data Mining for Vortices on the Earth's Magnetosphere
 

2016

AGU Fall Meeting and at the GEM Workshop in June, 2016, Poster


 Determining the motion of flux transfer events on the dayside magnetopause

July 2013

GEM meeting, Oral presentation


 Multi-spacecraft analysis to determine the motion of flux transfer events (FTEs)

2012

 Fall AGU Meeting, Poster


 Comparison between vortices created and evolving during fixed and dynamic solar wind conditions

July 2012

GEM Meeting, Oral Presentation


 Revisiting theoretical predictions of the motion and direction of FTE's

May 2011

 COLAGE Meeting, Costa Rica


 Concerning theoretical predictions for the motion and direction of FTE's

2010

 AGU Fall Meeting, Poster


 Statistical study of magnetopause boundary region vortices observed during modeled solar wind conditions

August 2009

 9th International School for Space Simulations, France, July 2009.


 Statistical study of magnetopause boundary region vortices observed during modeled solar wind conditions

2008

 AGU Fall Meeting, Poster 


Selected Public Outreach


NASA Science Day at Capitol Hill

July 2016 - July 2016

Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC


Women in STEM

August 2016 - August 2016

Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC 


USA Science and Engineering Festival; Awesome Com

May 2016 - Present

NASA Exhibition,  Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC


Live Shots/Social media events in English and Spanish

June 2013 - Present

2017 Total Solar Eclipse, Mercury transit event, 2016 Total Solar Eclipse, Mission anniversaries, Facebook Live events to Spanish language tv shows 


Career Panel Events

October 2016 - Present

Panels at UMD College Park; Opportunities in Federal Government Panel and panels across GSFC events like STEM Girls Night.  


NASA Women in Action

April 2016 - April 2016

High school students invited to learn from NASA women, tour a GSFC facility, and hear from a panel that included Dr. Dava Newman, Dr. Ellen Stofan, and Dr. Ellen Ochoa.


Tours to Visitors of the CCMC Lab

June 2013 - Present

Visitors include students from different universities: University of Puerto Rico RockSat team, 2016 summer graduate interns across the center, aerospace and computer engineering students from different universities, and high school students visits. Also presentations to different organizations like DARPA, Aerospace Corp., and celebrities like Kaya Jones.


Hyperwall Presentations

August 2016 - Present

Science and Engineering Festival, NASA GSFC Science Jamboree and VIP GSFC visitors 


MD STEM Fest

December 2016 - December 2016

Remote space weather presentation using the Digital Learning Network at GSFC


Invited Panelist at the Broadcast Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration in NASA HQ "Latinos STEM Up!", 2017

November 2017 - November 2017


Parker Solar Probe Mission Interviews in English and Spanish, Facebook Live Video in Spanish, NASA TV studios and launching site at Cape Canaveral, Florida, 2018

August 2018 - September 2018